Successful crossbreeding and birth of 25 crossbreed Girolando calves on local farms in the states of Oyo, Ogun, and Kwara have been announced by FrieslandCampina WAMCO. The company described the achievement as “a production revolution and transformation of Nigeria’s dairy sector”. In a statement made available to newsmen, the dairy organisation reported that in 2022, 1,400 Girolando semen straws were produced and 610 artificial inseminations were achieved, and 25 crossbreed Girolando calves have been birthed till date in Nigeria.
According to the dairy company’s Executive Director, Ore Famurewa, the Girolando breed, apart from having a high milk yield, is heat-tolerant, tick-borne disease resistant and possesses other characteristics ideal for production in tropical countries like Nigeria. He said; “The Girolando calves are the first generation of a new high milk-producing breed in Nigeria”. FrieslandCampina WAMCO sees this milestone achievement as an important step to give smallholder farmers access to affordable good-yield dairy cows in Nigeria.
Famurewa further explained that the Girolando breed is a composite of ‘Milking Gir’ from Brazil and Holstein Friesian from The Netherlands and had produced tremendous results for many decades in Brazil, leading to its transformation into a world power in dairy production. FrieslandCampina WAMCO continues to contribute to the development of the dairy sector and national food security through its dairy development activities and partnerships such as the Value4Dairy Consortium.
Launched in April 2021, the Value4Dairy Consortium is made up of four strategic partners, namely FrieslandCampina WAMCO, Nigeria’s foremost dairy company, URUS, the largest cow genetics company in the world, Barenbrug, a leading grass seed company, and Agrifirm, a leading feed and supplement company in The Netherlands. The consortium is making progress in implementing sustainable strategies to fast-track growth and development of the Nigerian dairy sector, with proven track records in various agri-related value chains.
Two partners of the consortium, FrieslandCampina WAMCO and URUS Group LP, the global leader in cattle breeding and dairy herd management programmes, selected the Girolando breed for introduction to Nigeria and subsequently signed an agreement with a local breeding farm-SMAP Farms Limited. The strategic partnership is expected to maximise success in crossbreeding and increase milk yields on local farms in a sustainable way. FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc is a dairy manufacturer that distributes dairy products such as milk, milk powder, and evaporated milk throughout Nigeria. It was incorporated in 1973 and some of the organisation’s brands include Peak, Three Crowns, Coast, Olympic and Nunu.